The macro-social benefits of education, training and skills in comparative perspective
(2003) John Preston and Andy Green
Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report No.9
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This report, the second from the Centre's strand of comparative research, complements an earlier WBL research report (Education, Equity and Social Cohesion: A Distributional Model) in exploring further themes of societal comparison and the distributional effects of education systems.
Despite generally high levels of educational attainment there is huge diversity amongst Western Societies in terms of crime, tolerance, trust and social cohesion. In this report, we take a comparative approach to investigating relationships between education and these outcomes at a societal level. Through an interdisciplinary review of literatures from sociology, history, economics and psychology we examine the role of education systems from a number of countries in influencing trends in, and levels of, these variables. Whilst the importance of country and historical context is stressed throughout we arrive at some general conclusions concerning the role of education systems in the development of various forms of social cohesion.
This report will be of interest to policy makers, researchers and practitioners who are interested in the social impact of education systems. In particular, we examine implications for current UK policy targeted at increasing national educational attainment.
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